Washington state residents east of Interstate 5 are seeing thunderstorms tonight as a “vigorous weather disturbance” works north up the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.
“There is an upper-level low off the coast of Washington that is causing some instability in the atmosphere over Western Washington,” said meteorologist Chris Burke, with the weather service in Seattle.
There is also a Red Flag Warning issued until 11 p.m. Wednesday, meaning scattered thunderstorms and dry conditions could lead a fire, if sparked, to rapidly spread.
Forecasters call July 2013 one of the driest on record for Western Washington, with only trace amounts of precipitation recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and other locations.
Summer thunderstorms are infrequent in the Seattle area, although there are a few every year.
“This is our day,” Burke said. The weather should dry out after sunset Wednesday.
This is the region’s second bout of thunderstorms since July 17, he said.
Few thunderstorms are forecast after this week. The Cascades and Puget Sound lowlands can expect thunderstorms Thursday afternoon and evening. There is a chance of thunderstorms in the north and central Cascades on Friday afternoon and evening.